Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey has provoked the political-media elite to even greater heights of hysteria. They are now firmly occupying the land of the tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists.
The latest evidence-free narrative is that Trump fired Comey because Comey was about to prove the Russia colluded with Trump to steal the election from Hillary Clinton, an equally evidence-free narrative. The words Nixonian and Watergate are being thrown around like confetti. Yet, other than hyperbolic rhetoric, baseless speculation and constant repetition, the story is as hollow as an empty drum.
There are serious and substantial differences between Watergate and Russia-gate. First, Watergate was based on an actual criminal act: the break in at the National Democratic Committe's offices. The perpetrators were caught in the act and they were members of a White House security operation.
The Russia-gate scandal, however, is not based on any actual facts. Even the claimed hacking of the National Democratic Committee's computers probably never happened. The FBI never examined the DNC computers. The examination was supposedly done by Crowdstrike, a private company with links to the Democrat Party and a history of Russophobia. Since when have the police allowed the alleged victim to conduct the investigation? Moreover, WiklLeaks, the publisher, has repeatedly asserted that the documents were leaked by a disgruntled insider.
So whereas Watergate was based on an investigation into an actual criminal act, the Russia-gate scandal is based on nothing more than partisan allegation.
Another significant difference between Watergate and Russia-gate is the fact that Watergate was about democracy, but Russia-gate is about McCarthyism designed to control foreign policy. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has followed a consistent foreign policy of global hegemony. Russia's recovery from 2008 has seriously limited that ambition. It is in this sense that US officials can sincerely say that Russia presents the most serious threat to US interests. Hence the anti-Russian policy. Trump's election victory threw a spanner in the works for this policy. And this is why Russia-gate is important. It is intended to either remove Trump or alternatively force him to implement anti-Russian policies - this is why they cheered when he launched tomahawk missiles on Syria. For them, it looked as though the jihadist propaganda had succeeded where the Christopher Steele Dossier had failed.
However, the most significant difference is that Watergate was about revealing a crime and a cover-up, whereas Russia-gate is a cover-up. Russia-gate is a brouhaha designed to explain Hillary Clinton's loss of the election. It is designed to deflect attention from her criminal behaviour, especially the private email server and the taking foreign money. It is designed to remove Trump from office or at least force him to adopt US hegemony foreign policy.
Russia-gate is an attempted coup d'etat conducted in plain view on television screens and news pages across the world.